Anthony Cody’ book The Educator And The Oligarch meticulously documents the efforts of Bill and Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation’s efforts to “reform” public education. But more than a well-researched book, Cody documents how his criticism of the Gates Foundation led to a public dialogue (through online posts) with the foundation about the efficacy of the Foundation’s intent to change public education.
If you’re looking for evidence about the Gates’ plan to reform schools, this is an excellent resource with 350 references to articles, books, public speeches, YouTube videos, online documents, and personal communications. Cody does an excellent job of weaving in these references with classroom-based insights about what might happen to public education if Gates is successful.
In 2012 Cody “received an email from a highly placed individual in the Gates Foundation” (p. 55). This opened a dialogue with officials in the Gates Foundation and led to a series of five blog posts with each side giving their perspectives about public education. Cody reprints large portions of his blog posts in the book and comments on what the Gates Foundation officials wrote. He gives links to the Foundation’s posts, but I would have liked to read more of what they wrote – I like to hear both sides of an argument.
Toward the end of the book Cody makes some predictions about what public education might look like if Gates is successful. I found these predictions entirely plausible and very scary. Everybody concerned with the direction of public education should read those predictions and ask, “Is this where we want to go?” If your answer is “No”, then use the information in the book to push back against these changes: if your answer is “Yes” or “I don’t know” then you’ll be using this book 10 years from now when researching “How did we get ourselves into this mess?”
Thank you Mr. Cody for taking the time to present to us a clear view of what Bill and Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation have said, done, and funded and where they are leading us. Will we follow?